Peggy Seeger

Love Will Linger On

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Peggy Seeger's 19th solo album is a thematic collection of originals and traditional songs concerning romantic love. It begins with the standard "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," which Seeger's late husband Ewan MacColl wrote for her, and that track sets the tone lyrically, if not musically, in the sense that, while not lacking in eroticism ("The first time ever I lay with you"), it has a formal sense that links it more to courtly love than the earthier type. Whether newly written or drawn from centuries-old repertoire, these are songs in which love is viewed with a stateliness and an emphasis on nature imagery. As such, this is more music for a sedate Sunday afternoon than a romantic evening. With the help of her son Calum MacColl, Seeger uses a variety of instrumentation and vocal support for the performances, ranging from the a cappella of "Mysterious Lover" to the art-song suite "Love Affair," which finds MacColl playing a variety of string instruments and contributing "programming," along with Seeger's autoharp and piano. Only "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is a typical folk recording with just guitar as accompaniment. The back cover of the CD makes special mention of Seeger's one-time partner Irene Scott, who provides vocal support and even takes the lead on "My Joy of You," a track taken from an earlier album, Almost Commercially Viable. But the disc remains a showcase for Seeger, whose singing belies her age and who sounds at home in a romantic and familial setting. (As a hidden track at the end, the CD contains an alternate version of "Love Will Linger On.")

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